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Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore

Posted by GG Goblin On February - 5 - 2020

Any port in a JRPG storm.

The Nintendo Switch has very much become a port machine, offering a home to games that have already had their moment in the sun on all manner of other platforms. While this can be a bit frustrating to multi-platform gamers, there is no denying that the Switch’s excellent capabilities makes many of these games even more enjoyable. One good thing about the influx of ports is the large number of Wii U games that are coming over to Switch. The Wii U was a good console, it just didn’t do very well, and the large number of great games that made an appearance on that platform can at least get a bit more love on the Switch. Which brings us to the latest Wii U port, the slightly strange JRPG Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore.


Originally billed as a JRPG crossover between Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem, anyone who was lucky enough to own a Wii U and play Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE will know that billing does slightly oversell the crossover idea. While it is true that fans of each of these games will have a certain amount of fan service to enjoy in Encore, the game is far more Persona than anything else. That’s no bad thing, and to be honest the Fire Emblem factors, from names to certain combat mechanics, are enough to make that connection. But yeah, Persona fans will be the ones to get the most out of Tokyo Mirage Sessions.

The game is set in a modern day Tokyo and drops the player into the world of Idols. Of course, nothing could be that straight forward, so throw in another dimension, some monsters, two of which are cleansed of their evil at the beginning in order to allow the player to fight these monsters, the unlocking of some special abilities and a secret group of Idols that actually go around fighting these monsters in order to save the world, while also running a talent agency front, and you have an almost typical JRPG setting. Even in the story, the game is very Persona-like, albeit slightly more musical and less serious. The cast of characters fall into various tropes and while none of them really stand out as much as certain Persona or Fire Emblem characters would, there is a certain charm to the cast that will get the player invested.


But what is there to invest in. Well, the majority of the gameplay will revolve around heading into dungeons with a small group and getting to the end of the dungeon to fight the boss. Once that is done, rinse and repeat. The good news is that, while being potentially tricky to those who perhaps don’t understand the combat fully, the game does not punish the player. For example, the player can leave the dungeon they are currently exploring at any time without much by way of penalty, and then come back after healing, or head off and do something else before coming back. There is a great deal of freedom to the game, which is a nice change.

So, the player will find themselves fighting Mirages, which are the equivalent of demons. The combat mechanics will be familiar to anyone who has played the games that serve as inspiration, but for those who haven’t the combat is not overly combat and tends to revolve around your standard rock, paper, scissors set up, with everyone having strengths and weaknesses that need to be exploited for success. Special skills and spells mix things up, but the sessions abilities which cause follow up attacks when exploiting the enemies weakness is where the real tactics come in as the player tries to chain as many of these attacks together as possible. It is a good system that is fairly easy to pick up. Also fairly easy is the way that characters learn new skills, although it is slightly different to usual. This involves collecting items through the course of the game and then using them to craft new weapons that need to be used in combat. It is a much more involved system that may involve the player having to revisit areas in order to find specific items they need.

When it comes to the improvements over the Wii U version of the game, there are a few. Shorter loading times is an obvious benefit, but perhaps the most important is the ability to skip through attack animations, which makes the lengthy battles that bit quicker to get through, and thus less frustrating. Otherwise, there are the obvious upgrades from being on the Switch, which make the game look that bit better among other things, and a touch of additional content. The extra content, and the Wii U DLC content which is also included in Encore, bring new costumes and dungeons for the most part, but also include some new story to be unlocked, and new music which complements the original soundtrack nicely.


When the original Wii U title launched, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE just didn’t seem to get the attention it deserved. Sure, it may not be as serious or deep as the Persona games, and the Fire Emblem link is quite minimal, but it still manages to be a solid and full featured JRPG. Now on Switch, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore improves on the original with small tweaks and additional content. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore is a great choice for JRPG fans looking for the next title to play on their Switch.




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